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Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Carnival of Life - The Tragedy

Here in Malta and in other parts of the world, people are celebrating carnival. Many claim that they enjoy this feast as It provides them the opportunity to let off stress and act in foolish ways - or get a laugh at the expense of others. Sadly, perhaps, I never liked carnival - no matter the hype.


I note that the fact that I am physically different than the norm makes me feel uneasy when I think that my walk, as a child, would be mistaken for a sketch from that Monty Python sketch ”Ministry of Silly Walks - which I admit is hilarious. Yet, it’s not that much of a joke if the joke is on you. And, that is perhaps carnival is upsetting.


For while it temporarily subverse the social order, it also permts those in authority to keep their power - not so different than the way ancient Rome organised large-scale entertainment to keep the people happy and their mouth full with food and wine. Of course, it’s good to have a rest from life and not take life or yourself too seriously. A thing that you’ll probably thinking about me right now.


However, as I try to keep away from the carnival and all the follies that it stands for, I cant help thinking that carnival is like life…


Don’t we pretend to be someone else to look good or to score social points or get a better career?


Don’t we deceive others, at times, to get what we want or to flee from trouble or of taking responsibility over our own actions?


Does our society encourage us to conform to its values and likes and, thus, smothering our freedom to be ourselves?


Are not the new distractions of social media encouraging us to become more impulsive in our words and actions?


Are they encouraging us to act in ways to please others and gain attention - whether it’s positive or negative?

Have  the masks we are encouraged to wear become so part of how we present ourselves to  the world that we forgot who we are?

Then again, do we know who we are? Or we even haven’t taken the time to ask and reflect about our life and about who we are?

Are we strangers to our own selves?



The last question may be the hardest one to answer. The fact that we owe it to ourselves to know who we really are and what we believe in. Even if we may be unable to do much for others, we would have taken the first step and started removing our mask and discover our authentic beings.


It’s then, and only then, when we remove the trappings of a pride that is fearful of

discovering the value of others and the beauty of being human ...


with all our  limitations... -

with all our  strengths...


with all our compassion...


Our potential to make a positive change to the world and to the every day of others who we may never know. 

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